― Omar, Thursday, 16 August 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
Destroy: A Black Mass, a super-lo-fi you-are-there-with-
earplugs-in document of a 1965 play by Amiri Baraka that Ra and co.
improvised music to. Badly.
― M. Matos, Thursday, 16 August 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― nathalie, Thursday, 16 August 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― m jemmeson, Thursday, 16 August 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Simone, Thursday, 16 August 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
i've got to add "Solar Myth Approach, Vols 1 & 2", "Nubians of
Plutonia", and the Evidence version of "Space is the Place".
― mike j, Thursday, 16 August 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
Destroy: never really heard a BAD Sun Ra disc, but the second
vol of 'Heliocentric Worlds' is a major let-down after the first alb,
which heavily features John Gilmore at his hard-blowin' best.
― Andrew L, Thursday, 16 August 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― francesco, Thursday, 16 August 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― jk, Friday, 17 August 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― dave q, Friday, 17 August 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― gareth, Friday, 17 August 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― your null fame, Friday, 17 August 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
Destroy: jazz recommendations from soul-less people.
― matthew m., Sunday, 19 August 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
Search: Atlantis. Title track finally fulfills fantasies I had of
what Sun Ra would sound like: alien, cold, forbidding, etc. The rest
of the album is pretty good too.
Destroy. Pictures of Infinity. Not really bad, but also not
spectacular live album. Classic wrong entry album that makes you
go "is this what all the fuss is about?"
― Omar, Sunday, 19 August 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― duane, Sunday, 19 August 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― your null fame, Tuesday, 21 August 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― gareth, Tuesday, 21 August 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
Additional recommendations: Monorails and Satellites, Sun Ra playing
solo piano. Like many Sun Ra recordings, this took a few listens (in
this case separated over a number of years) before I came to
Other Planes of There. I don't know why this seems to be considered
less accessible than Atlantis or the Magic City, both of which are too
chaotic-sounding for me (at least in their title tracks). This starts
off a bit more spare than the title tracks from those albums. There
are some difficult moments, but overall I like it. The recording
quality on the title track is perhaps "cruder" than that on
"Heliocentric Worlds vol.I:," but I find it warmer, though I can't
explain how such lonely and alienated sounding music can also be warm.
At times I think I hear echoes of Varese (sp?). It includes
"Pleasure" which always blows my mind. The last rack, which maintains
more or less a waltz rhythm throughout is probably my least favorite
on the album, but it's pretty good.
Angels and Demons at Play/The Nubians of Plutonia is a pretty
accessible and enjoyable CD. (Did I just say anything there?
Probably not.) Fate in a Pleasant Mood/When Sun Comes Out is also
good. The first album is relatively straight, while the second one
gets into more "uncompromising sonic exploration" sort of territory.
The rediscovered bonus track of Marshall Allen playing clarinet is a
treat. It sounds like he is work on a theme very close to one that
appears on one or more other tracks (elsewhere), possibly "Next Stop
Destroy? I'm reluctant to say destroy anything, since Sun Ra albums I
didn't like have often grown on me. I am less keen on his live albums
in general than a lot of Sun Ra fans seem to be, though I love seeing
the Arkestra live.
― DeRayMi, Wednesday, 22 May 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
Correction: John Gilmore plays clarinet on this track.
Incidentally, Marshall Allen's Arrival Day is this Saturday (the
25th). It will be celebrated at the Tritone in Philadelphia.
― DeRayMi, Thursday, 23 May 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
I just found out that Szwed has a Miles Davis book coming out this
year. Oh happy day!
― Ben Williams, Friday, 24 May 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
The ideal starting point is the soundtrack to the Ra movie (can't
remeber name). There's a lot of varied material there and it serves
as a sort of Ra comp.
I like the group improvisations and the stuff he does with his moog
(big slabs of noise: a take no prisoners approach there). Will have
to get more records and the biog. Swzed is a good writer.
― Julio Desouza, Friday, 24 May 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― Josh, Friday, 24 May 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― mark s, Friday, 24 May 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
''in the credits to the ra movie (remake: Queen of the Damned) is the
name WILLIAM DHALGREN: this has always intrigued me''
― rw, Friday, 24 May 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― DeRayMi, Friday, 24 May 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
THESE records shop has a rack fully devoted to Ra (one of the guys
who runs it absolutely worships him). That's where i got that CD
from. Google it, they run a mail order service.
― DeRayMi, Thursday, 13 June 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
In a similar vein, I recently got "Black Myth/Out in Space" - "Out In
Space" being another electronic maelstrom, this time lasting almost
38 minutes! Believe me, not a CD for the faint-hearted!
I have to confess however that I'm not a tremendous fan of his so-
called "great" albums from the mid-60's: "Magic City", "Heliocentric
Worlds", "Atlantis". I think these albums are remarkable but I don't
find myself listening to them very often - they're more to be admired
than loved. Certainly, if you're looking for jazz don't look at
the "Heliocentric Worlds" albums - these are probably the
least "jazz" jazz albums I've ever heard, closer in fact to Varese or
― KCoyne, Tuesday, 6 August 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
I have to confess however that I'm not a tremendous fan of his so-
called "great" albums from the mid-60's: "Magic City", "Heliocentric
Worlds", "Atlantis". . . . Certainly, if you're looking for jazz
don't look at the "Heliocentric Worlds" albums - these are probably
the least "jazz" jazz albums I've ever heard, closer in fact to
Varese or even Boulez.
I don't really like those albums either. (I have only heard one of
Heliocentric volumes, but I own the other volume and the other two
titles mentioned.) Have you heard "Other Planes of There"? The
title track covers somewhat similar material to "Heliocentric Worlds"
but is much warmer and less rigid sounding. I don't mind jazz that
doesn't sound much like jazz, per se, but I share your lack of
enthusiasm for these albums.
― DeRayMi, Tuesday, 6 August 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― Ben Williams, Tuesday, 6 August 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― mark s, Tuesday, 6 August 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― Julio Desouza, Sunday, 11 August 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
I enjoyed 'Exotic Forest'. A constant bassline but lovely 'middle
eastern' blowing (cliche alert!) and rolling percussion. And whenever
sun ra plays on that piano (he sounds like a classical pianist who
had burnt his hands but was still able to play) the music would
Definetely need to listen more. There's much more but i need to go to
anyway, will get some more recs soon...
― Julio Desouza, Wednesday, 14 August 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
Generally when I read that something sounds "middle eastern" in a
published review, I find that it either sounds only very vaguely
middle eastern or it doesn't sound middle eastern at all. (For
instance "Circe" from "When Sun Comes Out" doesn't sound like anything
a middle eastern singer would do, though the liner notes describe it
― DeRayMi, Wednesday, 14 August 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
I'll try to track some of this stuff down (yet some more for the
record pile but I need to visit the 'world music' section at tower
I don't care much for Flamenco singing, which sounds to me like
degenerate Arabic singing (not that I am saying it really is, but to
my Arabicized ears, it kind of sounds that way); but I do like the
guitar. Where I take salsa classes, there is also a Flamenco dance
class. The teacher's husband is a guitarist who plays for the
class. When I first heard him playing I was amazed by how good he
is. I did kind of a double take, like, wow, this guy is actually
really good, not just the teacher's husband who happens to play a
little guitar or something. In fact, do you know much about Flamenco
guitar, because that's something I'd be interested in hearing
recommendations for? (I probably should get off my butt and be
daring and go to a little bar at the edge of what used to be the
barrio, where this guitarist sometimes accompanies his wife,
yeah...i've looked into flamenco guitarists but I can't remember any
names (i think there was a webpage somewhere, I suppose I feel a
― Julio Desouza, Thursday, 15 August 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― Rockist Scientist, Tuesday, 8 October 2002 13:49 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― j.lu (j.lu), Tuesday, 8 October 2002 14:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― Rockist Scientist, Tuesday, 8 October 2002 14:06 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― Ben Williams, Tuesday, 8 October 2002 15:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― Rockist Scientist, Tuesday, 8 October 2002 16:16 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― Ra-kist Scientist, Friday, 25 October 2002 23:38 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
Haven't heard a couple of those (never heard of the Cleveland thing...what year is it from?). Cosmic Tones/Art Forms is one of my favorites of his, sounds decades ahead of its time.
― Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 30 March 2016 15:57 (one year ago) Permalink
listened to the first track off "live in cleveland" (1975 btw) this morning and the sound quality isn't great at all unfortunately but it's a pretty amazing black gospel chant about the "astro nation of the united world" w/ an underlying funk groove
― marcos, Wednesday, 30 March 2016 15:58 (one year ago) Permalink
I'll have to check that out; thanks for that info.
Sound quality is definitely an issue on some live Ra stuff. Most of the Transparency sets sound fine (Detroit 1980-81 residency, All-Stars 1983 set), but some are disappointing (a set with an inaudible Milford Graves supposedly in the lineup).
― Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 30 March 2016 16:29 (one year ago) Permalink
to be honest with you i hardly ever listen to any of his nyc stuff. i like free jazz, but i just don't think "heliocentric worlds" is up there with, say, "ghosts".
― diana krallice (rushomancy), Wednesday, 30 March 2016 16:43 (one year ago) Permalink
"springtime again" from sleeping beauty is amazing wow
― marcos, Thursday, 31 March 2016 15:11 (one year ago) Permalink
I really like that space funk electric thing he was doing from tghe late 70s to the early 80s including Sleeping Beauty, Lanquididty and Strange Celestial Road. Tghough I think he was still heavily revisiting the late 40s stuff at the same time on different lps which can also be enjoyable.But I think it was that deep space funk stuff that is my favourite and may be what most people who are more familiar with the myth than the actual catalogue may be yearning for when they want to explore his work. Could be worng about that 2nd bit. Are people actually looking for the heavily discordant stuff that I find less satisfactory?
― Stevolende, Thursday, 31 March 2016 15:56 (one year ago) Permalink
may be what most people who are more familiar with the myth than the actual catalogue may be yearning for when they want to explore his work. Could be worng about that 2nd bit. Are people actually looking for the heavily discordant stuff that I find less satisfactory?
rings true to me, i was certainly not looking for heavy discordant raw free jazz and never really felt pulled into heliocentric worlds. i have a lot of noisy raw free jazz already and i'm rarely in the mood for it
― marcos, Thursday, 31 March 2016 16:07 (one year ago) Permalink
Are people actually looking for the heavily discordant stuff that I find less satisfactory?
I am, and the Transparency series suggests many others are, as well. He arranged and orchestrated like no other; as much as I love Lanquidity, it's not the ideal showcase for many of his (or his Arkestra's) strengths.
I try to seek out anything that might approach The Magic City in its majesty...also always hunting for spacious, tape-delay/reverb-heavy things like Cosmic Tones/Art Forms and When Angels Speak Of Love.
― Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 31 March 2016 16:07 (one year ago) Permalink
On Jupiter, Sleeping Beauty, Strange Celestial Road, and Lanquidity are all of a piece to my ears - Art Yard reissues of this late 70s sorta r&b/space funk period are quite good imo. I agree that this is probably the most inviting/appealing period of his work to non-jazz/free-jazz heads, structurally and harmonically you get a lot of stuff that has a drifting, pleasant quality to it, without a ton of dissonant wailing (although that does pop up). Cosmos I don't have although it's on my want list, and given that's from the same period I would assume it's similar ...?
cosmic tones for mental therapy - this is way earlier obviously and more in line with the kind of free jazz colliding with exotica he was focusing on
I don't have "live in cleveland" or "my brother the wind vol 2"
I do recommend the recent "Space is the Place - Original Soundtrack" reissue from Sutro Park, which is much different from the "Space is the Place" album proper, and is composed of music used in the actual film. It has a preponderance of my favorite Ra elements - lots of chants/vocals, lots of synth-heavy stuff, and it swings
― Οὖτις, Thursday, 31 March 2016 16:42 (one year ago) Permalink
I highly recommend My Brother The Wind Vol 2; half is relatively straight-ahead organ-driven work, and the other half is early (possibly his first) solo synthesizer pieces.
― Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 31 March 2016 16:47 (one year ago) Permalink
"cosmos" is one of his top 5 imo
― the late great, Thursday, 31 March 2016 17:01 (one year ago) Permalink
my brother the wind vol 2 another yes yes vote from me
― peanutbuttereverysingleday, Saturday, 2 April 2016 23:52 (one year ago) Permalink
'Otherness Blue' and 'Somebody Else's World' are totally great. Top June Tyson moments.
― Austin, Saturday, 2 April 2016 23:56 (one year ago) Permalink
really enjoying two of the quartet albums, "new steps" and "other voices, other blues" from 1978 and I think reissued a couple years ago. Great sax playing by john gilmore. never heard of him before. I can already tell these are going to be with me for a while.
― nicky lo-fi, Thursday, 16 June 2016 15:34 (ten months ago) Permalink
never heard of him before.
have you never listened to Sun Ra before? Gilmore's on p much everything.
― Οὖτις, Thursday, 16 June 2016 15:45 (ten months ago) Permalink
I try periodically try to get into Sun Ra, but it often sounds a little cluttered to me. I don't hate it. It just hasn't clicked for me yet.
― nicky lo-fi, Thursday, 16 June 2016 15:58 (ten months ago) Permalink
his catalog is massive and highly varied obviously but I'd say his late 70s period is a great entry point in general
― Οὖτις, Thursday, 16 June 2016 16:12 (ten months ago) Permalink
Brian Eno @dark_shark 59m59 minutes agoSun Ra: Live at Stache’s, Columbus, Ohio, January 5, 1985 #mp3 #Arkestra #MarshallAllen http://tinyurl.com/hf75yyf
― dow, Tuesday, 12 July 2016 01:28 (nine months ago) Permalink
Destroy - "It's After the End of the World". I just picked this up for twenty bucks and it's a total rip-off. There's no line-up listed, so I have no way of knowing which tracks Alan Silva is supposedly on. I can't even hear Sun Ra on the first fifteen minutes. The first set has a very generic BYG feel, it could be Don Cherry or Archie Shepp or even the Art Ensemble. The second set has a startling five minute synth solo that sounds like Ra is playing a white noise generator but that's about all there is to recommend it.
― vahid (vahid), Thursday, April 24, 2003 10:37 PM (13 years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink
I think this is actually the single disc version of the set taht somebody was asking about at the beginning of the thread and somebody else said was Nuits de Fondation Maecht. I have the Double disc version known as Black Myth/Out in Space.I haven't listened to it in a while and think it was pretty difficult listening in places but o9ver all pretty good.
― Stevolende, Tuesday, 12 July 2016 20:39 (nine months ago) Permalink
My friend John just sent this research update from Brussels (he liked the xpost Marshall Allen-selected In the Orbit of Ra better than the Art Yard anthologies he mentions, but thought they were all somewhat lacking in range)(I especially wanna check that 2-CD version of Disco 3000):
As an antidote or counterbalance to the tastefully selected, beautifully remastered, but arguably overly genteel anthologies on Art Yard, today I went to the OTHER library and borrowed The Solar-Myth Approach vol. 1 & 2, which I'd never heard before, and which to my ears is kind of a continuation of the Heliocentric Worlds material while not quite reaching the degree of outness of Nuits De La Fondation Maeght vols. 1 & 2.For the more "advanced material" reissued by Art Yard, there's the 2-CD reissue of Disco 3000, with the entire Milan concert, and Media Dreams with the same lineup minus June Tyson, which was also recorded on the same trip to Italy. Both of these are worth hearing because of the creativity & ingenuity they all demonstrate in the stripped-down quartet format -- e.g. no drummer on the trip so percussion duties are split between John Gilmore on drums and Sun Ra operating a drum machine.
One heavy-duty reissue, also on Art Yard, is the 2-CD version of The Paris Tapes: Live at le Theatre du Chatelet 1971, where the Arkestra comprises 22 people not including the dancers.
I give Art Yard a lot of credit for making it a point to re-release that whole late-70s series like Landquidity, On Jupiter, and especially Sleeping Beauty.
Among the recordings of previously unreleased material that have come out in the last decade, don't overlook the ones on the Transparency label which, contrary to their name, offer next to ZERO information/documentation (at least on the couple that I own).
This page offers a useful overview:The Sun Ra Arkestra https://www.discogs.com/artist/2219395-The-Sun-Ra-Arkestra?sort=year%2Casc&limit=250&page=1
― dow, Thursday, 14 July 2016 19:34 (nine months ago) Permalink
I love the Media Dreams and Disco 3000 reissues, good stuff
― Οὖτις, Thursday, 14 July 2016 19:54 (nine months ago) Permalink
Modern Harmonic to Release Sun Ra's Live Triple LP/Double CD
‘At the Inter-Media Arts’, New York 1991
Triple Slabs of Interplanetary Perfection Available in Limited Pressing on
Record Store Day’s Black Friday, November 25th
Previously Unreleased, From His Archives
A stunning live Sun Ra event, recorded at the Inter-Media Arts Center in New York, April 20, 1991 will be available on Record Store Day's Black Friday event on November 25th. This concert was just two years before Ra’s “earthly departure” – and his keyboard work was amazingly strident and vibrant here. Modern Harmonic presents the tracks for the first time, they are previously unreleased! The Arkestra was in perfect form; this special night also showcased the Arkestra’s vocal magnificence with selections and sections powerfully performed by June Tyson, Michael Ray, T.C. Carney, James Jacson, and John Gilmore. Rarely will you hear the Arkestra with such clarity! Many Sun Ra releases were derived from live performances, but seldom did they have the quality or sonic-punch of this recording. The venerable NYC radio station WNYC were present to record, perfectly capturing the stellar performances.
Check out some music here:
Modern Harmonic is celebrating this magical evening by releasing the complete performance across three premium RTI LP pressings – or on two compact discs – with both configurations packaged in stunning, tri-fold chipboard jackets. The limited edition release also features extensive liners by noted jazz writer Howard Mandel, and is wrapped in a gorgeous design by legendary album-art icon, Jim Flora.
Triple LP pressed on HQ RTI vinyl and double CD, both with extensive liners.
The body and the spirit are not always one. While Herman “Sonny” Blount’s body was born on May 22, 1914, in Birmingham, Alabama, his spirit originated on Saturn a few years later. Around the age of twenty-two, Blount had a transformative experience during a deep religious meditation: “My whole body changed into something else. And I went up... I wasn't in human form. I landed on a planet that I identified as Saturn. They teleported me and I was down on stage with them. I would speak [through music], and the world would listen. That's what they told me.” Blount emerged from this encounter determined to fulfill their prophecy. Rechristening himself Le Sony'r Ra, he began a decades-long quest to write and play ever-more adventurous music. Blending elements of bebop, modal jazz, free improvisation, and unclassifiable, otherworldly sounds, Sun Ra built one of the most challenging and innovative recorded catalogs in music history.
Modern Harmonic Records: www.modernharmonic.com
― dow, Wednesday, 26 October 2016 00:51 (five months ago) Permalink
― Οὖτις, Wednesday, 26 October 2016 17:29 (five months ago) Permalink
S: Other Voices of There, Strange Strings, Heliocentric, The Magic City, Space Is The Place, and go see the currently touring version of The Arkestra (it's a lot of fun)
― Blood On The Knobs, Friday, 28 October 2016 05:44 (five months ago) Permalink
do u mean "Other Planes Of There"? that one's in my "to listen" pile!
― sleeve, Friday, 28 October 2016 16:32 (five months ago) Permalink
re-watched a Joyful Noise, required some spiritual succor
― Οὖτις, Friday, 18 November 2016 20:11 (five months ago) Permalink
er rewatched it last night because I required some spiritual succor
Missed the Arkestra the other night in DC, but Instagram videos from it looked good. 92-year-old Marshall Allen still at it on sax.
― curmudgeon, Monday, 21 November 2016 13:24 (five months ago) Permalink
re the new singles collection:https://daily.bandcamp.com/2016/11/21/sun-ra-feature/
― dow, Tuesday, 29 November 2016 02:00 (four months ago) Permalink
Clips w that article are pretty sweet
― Οὖτις, Tuesday, 29 November 2016 03:49 (four months ago) Permalink
There's so much understated genius in this. I don't care what anybody says. (Not that I've ever run across anyone saying anything negative about it, but just in case.)
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 1 January 2017 02:25 (three months ago) Permalink
"out there a minute" was one of the first ra records i heard; an uncle had a copy of the LP (missing "next stop mars" from the CD). it's still one of the ra records i go back to; the stuff on it is among my favorite of his new york stuff (i don't listen to the heliocentric worlds/magic city/atlantis stuff hardly at all).
― increasingly bonkers (rushomancy), Sunday, 1 January 2017 18:01 (three months ago) Permalink
Out There a Minute was the first Sun Ra album I ever bought and it remains my favorite. (I had heard a fair amount on the radio and seen Sun Ra live at least a few times by the time I bought it.)
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 1 January 2017 18:18 (three months ago) Permalink
― Οὖτις, Friday, 6 January 2017 15:56 (three months ago) Permalink
just one thing I would like to see on 1/20
― great Canadian prog-psych debut from 1969 (Sparkle Motion), Friday, 6 January 2017 17:09 (three months ago) Permalink
just picked up this book from the library -- pretty solid so far
― tylerw, Friday, 6 January 2017 17:16 (three months ago) Permalink
tyler have u read Space Is The Place? it is very very good imo
I have not seen or read that one you posted, looks interesting
― sleeve, Friday, 6 January 2017 17:20 (three months ago) Permalink
yeah, the Szwed book? It is really good ... this one is pretty brand new, i believe. less a biography and more of a dig into Sun Ra's influences / influence, it seems.
― tylerw, Friday, 6 January 2017 17:22 (three months ago) Permalink
ooh that sounds like just what I need. Swed's book is excellent. I should probably revisit it sometime.
― great Canadian prog-psych debut from 1969 (Sparkle Motion), Friday, 6 January 2017 17:39 (three months ago) Permalink
i listened to "the eternal myth revisited" set a couple years back. less a cd set and more a really long radio show type thing. it's really excellent.
― increasingly bonkers (rushomancy), Friday, 6 January 2017 21:21 (three months ago) Permalink
I dip into Szwed's book at random fairly often, it's so rich
― Οὖτις, Friday, 6 January 2017 21:23 (three months ago) Permalink
some notes made while listening to the aforementioned new singles set---started these comments on What Are You Listening To; here's more after listening more:
Sun Ra's Singles---The Definitive 45s Collection 1952-1991: 63 tracks, a lot more than the one on the Evidence label (this is on Strut), and from the original masters, while at least some of the Evidence collection was from the low-budget 7" vinyls. Sounds great, and while the guest singers (who gradually disappear, as Ra and the Arkestra speak and sing up, occasionally but very assertively), are uneven, they all shine sometimes. My favorite is Yochanan, AKA The Space Age Vocalist and The Man From The Sun, who belts 50s novelty free r&b numbers "M uck M uck (Matt Matt)" and Skillet Mama" and also delivers the word from further afield.
The two opening songpoems by Mr. Ra are instant grabbers.”I Am An Instrument” is very sweet and humble, waiting for the player; “I Am Strange” begins in the midst of a man’s amazed and somewhat apprehensive self-awareness, his vibrations, then moves through the window to the wind’s imploring, perhaps lamenting regard of the man, whom the wind cannot approach too closely; can only wait and call for the man’s contact, must submit to this desire, for windy powers are too great for initiative (this seems like the genesis of My Brother The Wind). More songs than the previous singles collection on the Evidence label.
The rock 'n' roll/r&b appeal of some vocals and more instrumentals, (including the original Sun Ra single versions of “Rocket No. 9” and “Love On Outer Space”, both of which are covered on NRBQ’s 2016 monster box High Noon, and reminding us that Q-pilot Terry Adams long ago declared that his band was the child of Sun Ra and Sun Records) can also come across kinda Latinoid, in a way that could attract the soul jazz club-goers, Chicago electric bluesters---all of it fitting into what some older customers of my Deep South music store in the 90s meant by "blues", sometimes. And, early on, some straight-up swing---nice, sometimes a little neat for my taste--and some tentacles extended, but soon assimilated, though not forgotten---this is Disc I, on II things def get out, though "The Bridge", which is cosmic and must be walked after "fire is poured on dry leaves" and one way left to go, is immediately followed by "I'm Gonna Unmask Batman" and it keeps zig-zagging like that. And the catchier pop-blues-jazz approaches stuff can pull in darker rays, like on "Nuclear War": "Radiation breeds mutation" (group singers repeat), "And when they push that button, you can kiss yo' ass bye-bye, bye-bye, bye-bye." ("Bye-bye, bye-bye, bye-bye.")After all several appearances by a frequently angry angel, the aforementioned sweet and humble “I Am An Instrument” returns, now pointing out that man is an instrument too, waiting for the plucking of his heart strings: “The heart can speak more than the mind” (thus providing a reminder of the mind passing the conductor’s bation, as demonstrated recently on “On Jupiter/Cosmo Drama (Prophetika 1)” by the angel, who may be fate and certainly sounds in a pleasant mood, on this occasion, with good news:”Something is, but nothing is too”,and while positives include “The life you liiive, and the thoughts you think, and the death you die”, negatives include immortality, because that’s impossible---”Election Day is coming, which one will you vote for? If you care to reach for thee impossible, that’s my department.”)
― dow, Saturday, 21 January 2017 00:51 (three months ago) Permalink
i'm still really familiar with the old singles collection, which is just some great, classic ra. i do like some of the tracks that showed up on the '09 "rocket ship rock" compilation - ebah's version of "i am gonna unmask the batman" (surely one of the all-time sun ra classics) and the utterly demented "space stroll" by don (dino) dean.
― increasingly bonkers (rushomancy), Saturday, 21 January 2017 23:52 (three months ago) Permalink
Dang, Don (Dino) Dean's not on here! Another reminder that I need to check out Rocket Ship Rock and other stray comps. Also, turns out I was right the first time: The CD version of Singles---The Complete 45s is indeed three discs; anyway here's https://sunrastrut.bandcamp.com/album/singles
Also, speaking of guest/client vocalists, here's another one from my notes:Hattye Randolph presents Sun Ra & His Astro-Infinity Arkestra with a seemingly unlikely gift, “Back In Your Own Backyard”, and they return the favor, simultaneously: this little blue mirrorverse is singing after supper, totally at home, knowing we travel even sitting back, and everywhere is outer space, also vice versa, like/in music maybe especially.
― dow, Sunday, 22 January 2017 19:46 (three months ago) Permalink
Verified Purchaser and Top 100 Reviewer Stuart Jefferson mentions these on Amazon: There's also single CDs like the two volume set "Doo-Wop From Saturn and Beyond", with titles "Interplanetary Melodies" and "The Second Stop Is Jupiter". These sets contain largely unissued tracks but are still full of that Ra magic. There's also "Rocket Ship Rock" (more issued/unissued sides), and "Spaceship Lullaby" (vocal groups), both which are worth hearing for Ra fans.
― dow, Sunday, 22 January 2017 19:56 (three months ago) Permalink
I've been listening to Monorails and Satellites, Vol. 2 for the first time. Nothing to say but wow, for now. I've been neglecting to keep up with what's become available on Spotify, now that apparently some issues with who has the rights to what have been thrashed out.
― _Rudipherous_, Saturday, 11 February 2017 06:18 (two months ago) Permalink
definitely picking up "discipline 27-ii" for RSD but what about "janus"?
― the late great, Wednesday, 19 April 2017 19:10 (five days ago) Permalink
it got one vote up and one vote down on this thread
i'm fascinated by the idea that bugs hunter was a big part of the janus sessions ... always loved his tape experiments on "cosmic tones" and the track below too
― the late great, Wednesday, 19 April 2017 19:12 (five days ago) Permalink
that Discipline 27-II reissue looks great, too bad I probably won't be able to get my hands on it
― Οὖτις, Wednesday, 19 April 2017 19:13 (five days ago) Permalink
I'm lukewarm on Janus, seemed like a patchwork reissue with different sessions mixed up iirc
― sleeve, Wednesday, 19 April 2017 19:15 (five days ago) Permalink